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Buccaneers' Starter Nearly Missed the Trip to Munich Due to Passport Issues

The Bucs were just a few hours away from having to travel to Germany to face the Seahawks without their starting running back, Leonard Fournette.

One of the most talked-about players on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers roster this season has been the team's starting running back, Leonard Fournette.

Not necessarily for good reasons, though. 

When training camp began, Fournette — fresh off signing a new 3-year contract to remain in Tampa — arrived overweight, which quickly became a hot-button topic amongst media and fans. 

Fournette did work his way back into shape though, and started this season off with a bang on opening night, rushing for 127 yards vs. the Dallas Cowboys.

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Unfortunately, we haven't seen much from Lenny since that time. Which has created an ongoing (and justified) narrative surrounding his role on the team, especially with the Buccaneers' run game being non-existent in every game they've played since week 1. Not to mention, rookie running back, Rachaad White, has looked pretty good in his limited opportunities this year, which is all the more impressive considering the challenges the team has faced along the interior of the offensive line due to injury, and the questionable play-calling that has plagued the offense as a whole. 

Ultimately, like many should-be contributors on the Bucs' offense, Fournette is definitely feeling the pressure heading into this week 10 game vs. the Seahawks in Munich, Germany. I'm sure he's eager to have a good game, not just to help his team secure an important victory, but also to alleviate that pressure, and hopefully create some separation between himself and Rachaad White, as the gap between the two running backs on the depth chart appears to be closing, and quickly.  

Well, it appears as though Fournette almost cost himself that opportunity.

According to the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero, Fournette almost missed the trip entirely.

Fournette was forced to apply for a replacement passport which got delayed due to the weather issues in Florida this past week. As a result, he was at serious risk of not being allowed to travel to Germany.

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Members of the Buccaneers' staff worked diligently throughout the week to try and expedite the process, ultimately resulting in the arrival of the replacement passport being received around noon on Thursday — a matter of hours before the team's flight was departing for Germany. 

Crisis averted. 

The Buccaneers have since settled into their new surroundings in Munich, with their starting running back, Leonard Fournette as part of the equation.

No matter how you feel about the hierarchy within the Bucs' running back room, there's no denying that the team is better off with both Leonard Fournette and Rachaad White in the fold.

Thankfully for the Bucs, they'll have both players ready to roll when they face off against a strong Seattle Seahawks team later this morning in Munich, Germany. And whether or not either player is able to establish themselves as the primary back heading into their bye week, will thankfully depend on their performance, as opposed to their attendance.

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